Tue. Jul 23rd, 2024

Assisted dying has been widely debated in recent years, with questions asked over whether or not people should be allowed to take their own lives. The divisive topic has been placed under the microscope again this week after Dame Esther Rantzen said she would consider ending her own life if treatment she was receiving for lung cancer did not improve her condition.

Dame Esther, who became one of Britain’s most influential figures after starting the charity Childline, first spoke out about her cancer condition back in May.

And this week the 83-year-old revealed that she has join Dignitas, a Swiss organisation that assists people in dying.

But should assisted dying be made legal in the UK? 

The Express’s Give Us Out Last Rights campaign is calling for a change in the law to allow doctors to prescribe life-ending medication for patients who request it.

In order to receive the relevant medication, people must meet criteria including:

– Being terminally ill with six months or less to live
– Having the mental capacity to make the decision
– Ensuring two doctors are satisfied they are eligible
– Ensuring a High Court judge is satisfied they have made a voluntary, clear and settled decision, with time to consider all other options

With these factors in mind, would you support this law change? Let us know in the poll below:

Dame Esther has also called for a free vote for MPs on assisted dying.

A free vote would allow MPs to ignore their party’s position on the question.

The broadcaster said it was “important that the law catches up with what the country wants”, with the public appearing to back a change to legislation more and more every year.

She noted that her next scan would lay out “whether the miracle drug is performing its miracle or whether it’s given up”, and ultimately impact her decision on assisted dying.

She added: “I have joined Dignitas.

“I have in my brain thought, well, if the next scan says nothing’s working I might buzz off to Zurich – but it puts my family and friends in a difficult position because they would want to go with me.

“And that means that the police might prosecute them. So we’ve got to do something. At the moment, it’s not really working, is it?”

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